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Julia Glass, Winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Three Junes

Julia Glass dedicates the National Book Award to all the late bloomers in life because sometimes finding what you love to do takes time.

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 It feels like everywhere you look these days the media  bombards us with stories of instant success.   People who began start-ups from their college dorm room,  turned a neighborhood lemonade stand into a million dollar industry, the list of goes on and on.   I've always been inspired by Julia Glass's 2002 National Book award speech for Three Junes.  She won the award at age 44 after having been a painter, journalist and editor. She found time to write in between the cracks,  and kept at it because she loved writing not because of the promise of money or fame.  The speech dives into thanks-yous and personal stories but the part that resonates with me is the end, "..this is for everybody who blooms late in life, whether you're a writer or anything else because you never, never know."

The idea that students need to find the perfect job after school or that there is only one perfect job out there per person seems like the wrong message.  Transitioning from school to work doesn't have to be the 'end all be all' in job or in career moves.  For the most part, the field a person enters out of school is not the field they'll find themselves in 5 or 10 years down the road.  I think young people entering the job force should be encouraged to try many different career paths, in other words,  embrace the journey.  Don't worry if your first job is not exactly what you want or doesn't offer everything you're looking for..that will come. Learn skills (soft and hard) make mistakes, meet new people, build a body of work and learn to communicate and translate your experiences. Share these experience with other people and build a portfolio of what you know.  People can find success late in life,  or success can be defined as a collection of job experiences put together, there is no hurry if you recognize that it's all valuable.


Speech: http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaacceptspeech_jglass.html#.T95UEHAQSy4

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Photo of Lluis Ripoll

Loved this one. I think it acts as an 'eye-opener'. And it's difficult to get through challenges with 'the eyes closed'.

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